Let My People Go: The Untold Story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89

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ReadHowYouWant.com, Limited, May 22, 2015 - Australia - 488 pages
During the Cold War, Soviet Jews were suspected of being traitors. The Communist leadership closed Jewish organisations and declared Zionism an ideological enemy. As a result of the state-sponsored persecution, anti-Semitism grew: many Soviet Jews suffered hardships, ranging from not being allowed to enlist in universities to being sent to the gulag. For the three critical decades, between 1959 and 1989, Australian Jews and their community leaders were deeply involved in the international campaign to enable Soviet Jews to leave the Soviet Union. Australian politicians (including Bob Hawke, Garfield Barwick, Malcolm Fraser and William Wentworth), joined human rights activists and opinion leaders in the campaign. Australia played a role above and beyond what might be expected from a middle-ranking nation with limited international influence. But the lead actor was Isi Leibler. His involvement and leadership with the refuseniks and Soviet Jews, merit this full account from an Australian Jewish perspective and the campaign eventually led to the emigration of over a million Jews to Israel.

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About the author (2015)

Suzanne D. Rutland was born in Sydney, in 1946. She is a Jewish Scholar, Writer, and an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney. Her work includes The Edge of the Diaspora: Two Centuries of Jewish Settlement in Australia, and The Jews in Australia. She is the co-author, with Sam Lipski, of Let My People Go: The Untold Story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89. They were joint winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian history.

Sam Lipski is an Australian journalist, born in Melbourne, Victoria in 1938. He earned his BA at the University of Melbourne and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Monash University (2008). He has worked for The Age, The Australian, The Bulletin, The Sydney Morning Herald, and others as a reporter, columnist and a Washington Correspondent. He is the co-author, with Suzanne D, Rutland, of Let My People Go: The Untold Story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89. They were joint winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian history.

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